February Ramblings : 14 – Expounding on an elusive emotion

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I guess you’d expect me to talk about love today. It is only appropriate that I oblige.

A cursory heads up before you jump headlong into reading (how presumptuous can I get ūüėõ ) – I am by no means cynical about the romantic variety of the aforementioned emotion, contrary to what this passage may indicate. (As I say this, I must also warn you that I have no clue what I am about to write.)

There are certain conclusions that my age (I would have added wisdom, but I gracefully refrain from the temptation, which would most certainly refute my claims to the said quality) has accorded and afforded me; and which I want you to be privy to too so that you can glean some insights (if you are the younger generation) or add your comments (if you are my peers or the older generation).

The movies or the books are just parts of the whole story. Love, in real life, ebbs and flows according to the circumstances – where in this existential voyage, both of you gather a collection of happy and sad memories. Cut a chunk of your love ‘timeline’ from any starting moment to any figurative ‘ending’ moment and you have a story worthy of cinema or literature.

The ‘feels’ are all too real.¬†I remember my Mom crying into her hanky in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. As I entered my late twenties, I too started getting emotional in movie halls. My eyes would fill up with tears of grief or joy for the lovelorn couple, as the screenplay demanded of the audience. THAT¬†my dear readers, is nothing compared to the roller-coaster ride that your heart takes you on, as an unwilling participant, when you yourself unwittingly fall in love!

Only the self-loving can love.¬†Having grown up on a steady diet of stories that glorified selfless love (case in point – Hum Dono), I have always held the notion that ‘love is, completing one another’. It is with utmost reluctance that I admit that it is not the case.

‘Love is in fact, evolving together.’

You may be opposites, or – there would never have been two people who were so alike. That is immaterial! You are under no obligation to ‘complete’ or entitled to ‘be completed’. On the contrary, when you hold hands, you set out on a journey of besting ‘your own self’ with an equally enthusiastic companion in tow, who in turn is doing the same himself/herself – while enjoying the experiences you share with one another, on the way.

This is where I end my deliberations. I can ramble on for eternity, for if any topic catches my fancy, my train of thoughts sets out to circle the Universe!

I hope you have enough food for thought on your plate. Do comment on whether¬†this¬†appeals to your palate or you’d rather have some modifications!

 

February Ramblings : 13 – Turning up

Hello there, you couldn’t be more wrong if you thought I had given up on the ramblings. I couldn’t have chosen a more ominous date to turn up. (This observation is just for theatrical effect, I don’t quite believe in omens.)

I do believe in signs though. I believe that the happenings around us indicate what course the Universe (rather, our inner self) wants us to pursue.

In the last week, several topics have occurred to me. Alas, I have not even made mental notes of them.

So today, I write extempore.

A very radical shift has taken place in my personality in 2018¬†– both physically and mentally. I have lost quite a few kilos and look leaner (not meaner ūüėõ ). I carry a feeling of complete control about me. My heart and mind are at peace.

How can such a short duration affect such a change is not beyond me though. It is the culmination of my efforts in the last 10 years, towards the development of my worldly skills and deepening of my spiritual understanding.

I have joined an online book club started by an old colleague. It has a small circle of readers of varied ages – typically 30-70s. The purpose is to read books with strong messages for self-development. We have read one book – Man’s Search for Meaning. The next one is Adela Cathcart.

The latter is a refreshing read in Classics, because the writer George MacDonald¬†has a quirky way of describing people, places, and events. I’m almost through Volume 1 and feel a strange kinship with Adela and the protagonist of John Smith’s first story. I leave you be without spoilers…

I have also joined a Toastmasters ¬†Club, attended one meeting as a guest, and spoken on a Table Topic – What do you think is the Universal Truth about becoming rich/making money? To sum up my take crisply, I said – you never have enough of it and you always think the grass is always greener on the other side. To further expound, even the richest man/woman on the Earth feels he/she doesn’t have enough money to cover his/her whims. Fancy going to Mars in a SpaceX flight, anyone? Also, money cannot buy everything and it comes at a price. Look at how Steve Jobs lost his health… Most rich people suffer from chronic lifestyle or stress induced illnesses. I rambled on, so to speak, for a minute and 7 seconds and qualified as a speaker. Ta-da!

All in all, this month is going to be exciting as I start actual work on my writing (February Ramblings), reading (Book Club), and speaking (Toastmasters) skills. Here’s to steady progress! Let me know what you have planned for February!

P.S All this while, I’ve been ‘writing’ in a British accent. I don’t know why! Do I hear you exclaim – ‘Dandy!’?

February Ramblings : 1 – Lunar Eclipse 2018

Okay, I’m too lazy to think of a more appealing post title.

Welcome to February Ramblings, a blogathon conceptualized by the Lady at Shail’s Nest. The purpose is to ramble…so here I start.

I watched the total lunar eclipse that occurred after 150 years, because it took place on a super blue moon night. (I have yet to know what a super moon means.)

In the year 2004, I had seen the total lunar eclipse that happened in the dead of the night. If I remember right, the moon was wholly red at about 2.30 am and looked like an orange – with its rough ‘peely’ (pockmarked) surface.

When I saw the ring (I know there’s no ‘ring’ ring in lunar eclipse, but I call the first illumination moment that) from the tallest building in the town yesterday, I racked my brain to remember ‘that’ moment from 2004. For the life of me, I couldn’t. Maybe I had fallen asleep after waiting too long for the eclipse to start lifting.

Let me give you a little background on how I watched that eclipse. It was the summer vacation after 12th. The younger sibling was enrolled in a Cricket Camp in Baroda, and we were also hosting one of his school friends from our town, at my Nana’s place. If you know Baroda (yes, uh Vadodara or as the locals say – Baoda), the summers are extreme. The only respite is the night breeze.

My Nana’s place was a quaint row house near the newly functional Airport, and the terrace was the perfect place to camp out with a few mattresses, for a good night’s sleep. The plus point for parents was that the sunlight at 7 am was so strong that we couldn’t sleep past reasonable waking up hours!

As usual, out of the 3 children and 1 grown-up (my Mom) who slept on the terrace, I was the only one excited about the eclipse. I was over the moon thinking Рnow I can boast about seeing both total solar (1999) and total lunar eclipse. I stayed awake past my bed time of 10 pm till 2.30, marveling at the celestial wonder. People on the terrace woke up for a moment or two and then went back to sleep. And looks like I had drifted off too, for when I woke up the moon was almost all visible.

So, to conclude,¬†I had watched the total lunar eclipse partially, and only completed watching it now, because funnily enough, I couldn’t see the moon till it was fully engulfed by the shadow at 6:21 pm. I didn’t get to see the half I had seen and saw the half I hadn’t. (OMG, I’m truly rambling!)

Getting back to what is the original point of this post – to ruminate on the mental state in which I saw both the eclipses. Sorry for keeping you in the shadows…

In that summer of 2004, I had heavily messed up my board exams. I knew the results wouldn’t be too attractive, but I also thought that there was a safety net of 80% – I was not that dumb that I could fall below that. (Or so I thought.)

I had nightmares where I couldn’t finish my paper or didn’t know what to write, because I had ‘forgotten’ to attend the classes for a subject. I had shared my feelings about my grades, but I had not shared those nightmares with anyone. In the day time, I used to have a queer feeling in my tummy – a feeling of ¬†impending dread.

Most of the times I managed to ignore it by keeping myself occupied in reading, and playing cricket with the guys. When left to my own devices, there was a constant feeling of dread running in the background.

One day, I decided to face it head on. Was I afraid of what my teachers would say? Or was it what friends and family would have to say? Was it because there were friends and cousins to whom I’d be compared to? Was it because I thought the marks would not be enough to get into a decent engineering college?

The answer to all these questions was ‘No‘. I had that feeling because I knew¬†I had not done enough, when I easily could have.

To not keep you in suspense, I got 77.7%. The safety net didn’t catch me. I reaped what I sowed. I made up for the fiasco in the entrance exams and did get into a good engineering college.

Coming back to the future… I thought on my present mental state. I have that queer feeling in my tummy again every single day.

While the feeling is of the same nature,the cause is not the same. As opposed to 2004, in 2017/18 – I feel have indeed done all I could. After a lot of mulling over, I think the feeling is because over the course of time, I turned into a people-pleaser and the nagging feeling is¬†because people feel that I haven’t done enough.

To sum up, my uneasiness¬†stems from the fact that my ‘all I could‘ isn’t ‘enough‘¬†for others!

Looking at the eclipsed moon yesterday, I realized that I have learned to face it, and use it to my advantage. It now keeps me on my toes and makes me do the right thing for myself.

Then, I had an illusion about a safety net. Now, I have none.

I know that I’m on my own, and that makes me resolute in my vow to never have that queer feeling in my tummy again, by doing what I have to do to evolve in order to reach the best of my potential!

 

Taking stock : 2017

Hey ya folks! We’re into mid-2017.

I had updated my Facebook profile for a life event ‘Made peace with time.’ in mid-May, because I wasn’t freaking out about the time that has passed or is passing and things that are pending. I am glad the life event seems to be a permanent change in my temperament, because I still ain’t freaking out while I go through my resolution list made in Jan 2017.

Here we go:

Here are the resolutions :

  1. Win a medal.

    Well, I made it to the Nationals by qualifying in the Pre-Nationals held in Mumbai, this June. The margin was appreciable. I needed 352/400 to qualify. I shot a 358/400 in a pressure situation. I am now training at Level 6 in GFG, which happens to be the highest level of training that they presently offer. So yeah, winning is on cards, the season is progressing well.

  2. Earn money blogging.

    Why do I do this to me?!

  3. Code using SWIFT and also develop an end-to-end iOS app with cloud hosting and web services.

    Have not started. Am not sure.

  4. Write a tech blog.

    Same as above.

  5. Write a shooting blog.

    This is possible. Need to start.

  6. Write actively on thedamsel.in.

    I am not sure about the blog. I have been posting on Instagram, but it is very directionless.

  7. Read 100 books.

    Like last year, I have subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I am even more disappointed with their collection. I have read a few thrillers and a few man-eater series from Kenneth Anderson and Jim Corbett. Right now, I have finished Shashi Kapoor’s Biography and am reading Shammi Kapoor’s. If you have any Kindle Unlimited recommendations, please suggest.

  8. Write short stories and creative pieces.

    A poem about my dead cat counts?

  9. Complete April A-Z Challenge and February Ramblings.

    Gee…

  10. Eat right, exercise and get a fit body. Participate in at least one marathon.

    Exercising. Not enough. Need to work.

Erm… I am happy I posted on the blog even if it is ‘taking stock’. Hope you’re having a good year too!

Resolutions 2017

2017 will be the year of achievements and learning.

I am quitting my side job to focus on shooting. It will also give me time to look after my blog, and learn coding again.

Here are the resolutions :

  1. Win a medal.
  2. Earn money blogging.
  3. Code using SWIFT and also develop an end-to-end iOS app with cloud hosting and web services.
  4. Write a tech blog.
  5. Write a shooting blog.
  6. Write actively on thedamsel.in.
  7. Read 100 books.
  8. Write short stories and creative pieces.
  9. Complete April A-Z Challenge and February Ramblings.
  10. Eat right, exercise and get a fit body. Participate in at least one marathon.

I am going easy on me this year, and setting fairly achievable goals.

 

A photo posted by Ruchi Moré (@thedamselin) on

Most of my resolutions this year are related to writing. This is conscious, because I feel writing has taken a backseat since I left my day job in 2015. I had taken a break to write and I took up shooting instead. It has been close to 6 years that I have a blog and 4 years since I have this domain.

The initial settling in has been done. Now I need to go to the next level and start implementing SEO and monetisation. (For that I need to write too ūüėõ )

So here’s to the second innings of blogging!

2017 – The year of achievable goals!